State Quick Links


The State Festival is the signature event for Oregon Thespians. It is attended by over 1500 theatre students and teachers from around the state and features several main stage productions, dozens of one act plays, workshops and presentations.

Schools may apply to have one of their Main Stage Productions featured at the conference as one of the top high school shows of the year.  All troupes attending are expected to participate in some significant way. Participating troupes may bring one-act plays or scenes to showcase in the One Act Marathon, or present a troupe-sponsored Workshop. Workshops are also offered by local and national theatre professionals and college students and professors.

The qualifying top 10% in each category from the Regional Acting Competitions audition for the State Showcase at the State Conference. Judges select a minimum of two scenes or as many as 20% per category to perform at the State Showcase. Entries deemed superior at their Regional Competitions, by virtue of their advancement to the final round of auditions at State, are also eligible to enter the Individual Events competition at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska in June.

Design/Technical Theatre events are also conducted, including a range of events in which students can advance for adjudication and recognition at both the State and National levels.

At the end of the conference, awards for Honor Troupe, technical achievement, and Scholarships are presented and a new State Board is elected. See SCHOLARSHIPS/HONORS for more information on teacher, troupe, and student opportunities.

High school students in grades 9-12, their theatre teachers, and chaperones are welcome at the conference. The registered Troupe Director MUST attend with the delegation, or designate an adult Troupe leader (with approval from their school). All students must be chaperoned by an adult (21 years or older) for the entire weekend of the conference.


Participant Forms

Troupe Directors are required to print, distribute, and collect complete, signed copies of each form below for each participating student in the State Festival.

Please note NEW FOR STATE 2021:

All forms must be uploaded into your high school troupe's unique folder, located inside the Oregon Thespians G-Suite Shared Drive Folder "Oregon Thespians Required Forms Folder." To access, Troupe Directors must log intoyour troupe's unique account yourschoolname @


2) For BOTH students AND adults, and for the duration of the event, another individual copy must go into each participant's nametag wallet, which they will receive at Festival registration check-in when the Troupe Director checks in.

3) A third set must be turned in at Festival registration check-in.

Required for ALL participants

Students without these signed forms will not be permitted to participate.

The required forms will be checked at registration.

  • Troupe Directors must keep their own set of copies, particularly of the Health Form.

  • Each student must keep a copy of their Health Form in their nametag wallet which they will receive at the Festival when your Troupe Director checks in.

Required for ALL participants

Students without these signed forms will not be permitted to participate.

The required forms will be checked at registration.

Troupe Directors must keep their own set of copies.


State Financial Assistance Grant

Need funds to attend an Oregon Thespian event? Limited grants are available.

Grant recipients announced prior to the State registration deadline.

Stage Curtains

Honor Troupe

We are continuing to develop the process by which an Oregon Thespian Troupe earns the title HONOR TROUPE. Troupes earning at least 60 points on the online application form, and after a student-led presentation at State Festival highlighting their "Spotlight Focus", qualify as an Honor Troupe. At the State Festival, one troupe is selected to present their "Spotlight Focus."

The presentation is intended to focus on something which really makes your Troupe’s efforts stand out. We call it a SPOTLIGHT FOCUS, and it represents an activity or project that your Troupe undertook this year over and above your normal level of activity. It should represent a reach, or an innovative step, in how you use existing resources and/or develop new ones.

Using guidelines from other states’ processes, we have established a point system to help Troupes demonstrate a mean level of activity for their Troupe.  When applying, you will be asked to provide information about your Troupe’s activities and projects in four areas:  Theatre Production, Community Service, Participation in Oregon Thespians, and Outreach.

The point system was developed to encourage a solid, balanced level of involvement and activity across those four areas. Up to 30 points may be earned for Theatre Production, up to 20 points for Community Service, up to 30 points for Participation, and up to 20 points for Outreach. We have set the mark at 60 points to establish a base level of involvement.

Once a troupe establishes this level, attention turns to a specific project or activity that stretched the Troupe’s resources, created innovative connections, represented a risk, or otherwise stood as an “over and above” attempt.

We would like the Honor Troupe designation to honor Troupes that maintain a balanced level of involvement and strive for excellence by stretching themselves in new and innovative ways.

Troupe presentations will be scheduled on the first day of the State Festival, the same day as Showcase Auditions and Tech Entries, and are to be presented by students. Adjudicators will validate the Troupe’s claims and those who satisfy the requirements will be named Honor Troupe. No limits to how many troupes can achieve Honor Troupe.

All Honor Troupes will receive a certificate and be recognized at the conclusion of the State Festival.

Presentations happen at the State Thespian Festival. Those troupes that register online will receive further information about the presentation at State.  


Parade of Troupes

ONE SLIDE per troupe DUE APRIL 1

The Parade of Troupes is another opportunity for Oregon Thespians to recognize every troupe’s contributions to educational theatre in our state. All Troupes and Junior Troupes participating in State are asked to submit one (1) Powerpoint slide for inclusion in the annual Parade of Troupes presentation at the Thespians State Festival and Junior Thespians State Day.

Submit by uploading at the link below.

TIps & Hints:

  • Your ONE SLIDE must be no larger than 2 MB and be STATIC. 

  • Multiple images are allowed but no video, sound, or animations.

  • If a specialty font is used, it will only look correct in the final presentation if the font is also installed on the computer showing the final presentation, so limit font use to those that are common to most machines. Really common. Like, everyone has them.

  • If you assign a background to the ONE SLIDE, do not select “apply to all.” Do not use a template slide design. Create your ONE SLIDE from scratch, as a standalone. A presentation of ONE SLIDE.

  • Avoid using pre-made Powerpoint templates as these often incorporate a background on a single slide which will be lost when your ONE SLIDE is copied into the rest of the presentation. You can test your ONE SLIDE by copying and pasting it into another presentation (ideally on a different computer). That’s what we’ll be doing on this end.

  • You can use your imaging software (photoshop or similar) to save high-resolution photos at a lower resolution, decreasing the amount of memory they take.

  • Remember that your ONE SLIDE will be a part of a fast-moving, projected presentation. Aim for high visual impact. Use a few words. Text will be difficult to read, limit it to titles and headlines only.

Save your ONE SLIDE with your school name as the file name, and upload it at the link provided.

Questions? Contact Tom Cavanaugh at



Theatre Etiquette Videos

Due April 1

The Theatre Etiquette video submission is another opportunity for Oregon Thespians to showcase their work in our state. Troupes participating at State are invited to submit a THEATRE ETIQUETTE VIDEO to be shown prior to each of the Main Stage Productions and Festival Finale.

  • Troupes or individual Thespians can create original theatre etiquette videos.

  • Up to four videos will be selected by STO or Adult Board Members for presentation at the State Festival.

  • Videos should be no more than 3 minutes long, and creatively remind audiences of proper theatre etiquette around areas such as talking, cell phones, texting, food and drink, and other proper audience behavior.

  • Videos must be submitted on ONLINE.

  • Post your video as an unlisted video on YouTube and send the link to Tom Cavanaugh

Up to four videos can be featured!

Theater Lights

Main Stage Productions

Plays Selected to perform at state.

The deadline for applying to bring a Main Stage Production to the State Festival is December 15 each year. Productions performed by the second week in January are eligible. Before applying, please carefully review ALL information contained on this page, including all documents linked from this page. 

Each year, a number of Main Stage Productions by Oregon Thespian Troupes are selected to perform at the State Festival.

To have a production considered for one of the available Main Stage slots, read and follow the information and guidelines found in the SOP below.

In addition to having your production considered, you may request a live response to your production, which becomes a part of your application. Live responses are encouraged, but are not required. They must be scheduled through the Main Stage Production selection committee according to the timeline outlined in the application process.

Note that advance planning and preparation are crucial to the success of a Main Stage Production at State. Application and request deadlines are important for your fellow Thespian Troupe Directors, who have volunteered to facilitate the selection process.

If you are planning to have a main stage production considered for State, please review the technical specifications and stage layout of The Historic Elsinore Theatre and stage specifications of The Grand Theatre, our State performance venues, so you can plan for a potential presentation at either of these sites.

Empty Theater

Thespys™ Acting Showcase Auditions

Troupe Directors must confirm participation for any entries who have qualified for the State Showcase Auditions.  

Click here to confirm participation by March 1.

The State Showcase Auditions for Oregon begin at the Regional Acting Competition, where the top 10% in each event, following the two or three schedule preliminary rounds for that event, are deemed superior and named Showcase Audition Qualifiers.

This designation also qualifies these entries to participate in the International Thespian Excellence Awards Showcase at the International Thespian Festival in June. (Note that some Oregon rules and events vary from Thespys™, and not all events are held at the ITFest).

At State, each entry performs one time before a team of two judges. These judges provide adjudication and then consult to select two entries, or 10% of the number of entries, whichever is greater, to represent that event in the State Showcase during the Festival Finale.

The State Showcase Auditions typically happen on the Thursday of the State Festival, between Noon and 5 pm.  The day and time of the State Showcase itself can vary from year to year. All those participating in the auditions are encouraged to register and participate in the State Festival, but this is not required.

Troupe Directors must confirm their entries’ participation in the State Showcase Auditions, following Regionals and before the State Deadline.

For more information, please email Performance Thespys Coordinator at


Design and Tech Events

Students attending the State Festival are able to submit an entry in a DESIGN/TECH EVENT. Entries are adjudicated, providing feedback and recognition. Students can qualify to enter at the International Thespian Festival, as well. 

The cost of entering is $10 per entry for current Thespian Members and $12 per entry for non-Thespian students.

Each Troupe is limited to three (3) entries per Design/Tech Event and three (3) entries per student. If you have more students interested, we suggest you hold an “in-house adjudication” to select which three (3) per event will represent your Troupe at the State level.

Below is the complete list of DESIGN/TECH EVENTS that will be adjudicated at the State Festival this year.

CLICK on the event to get the rubric. You can find the SOP below.

For more information, email Jim Fewer, Design/Tech Thespys Coordinator, at

Stage Management

Costume Design

Lighting Design

Scenic Design

Makeup Design

Sound Design

Theatre Marketing

Short Film



Troupes can bring one-act plays and cuttings to perform at State in the following categories: Playwriting, Freestyle, and/or Chapter Select. One-acts can range from staged readings to cuttings and 10 minute plays to fully staged one-acts, both published and original works, depending on the category. Troupes can enter more than one category (as time/space allows). Multiple entries per category are allowed.

  1. Playwriting Performance: Pre-selected Playwriting winners produce their own original plays and then perform at State, either as a staged reading or a fully staged production. Also, Playwriting shows can be considered for Chapter Select, but those productions should be a fully staged show, and needs to be entered in the Chapter Select category. See separate section for Playwriting Competition information.

  2. Freestyle: Freestyle is a performance venue open to anyone and just about anything. You can present one-acts, staged readings, cuttings, scenes, original works, 10 minute plays, or simply use it as a venue to share your rehearsed talents.

  3. Chapter Select: Chapter Select one-acts are screened at State Conference to become the one Chapter Select show recommended to perform at the International Thespian Festival in June as the representative top quality one-act in the Oregon State/Chapter that year. Chapter Select eligible shows will be adjudicated. The selected show, including all cast and crew, must plan to attend Festival and follow the IT Festival regulations regarding performance.


  1. Each show is allowed no longer than 45 minutes for performance, 10 minutes for set up and 5 minutes for strike.

  2. Plan to perform in a space no larger than 10’ x 15’.

  3. Use only essential costumes, scenery, and props.

  4. Furniture and other scenic items are not provided.

  5. Bring your own sound equipment, such as a portable stereo system, CDs, and speakers loud enough for both actors and audience to hear.

  6. Stage lighting is not guaranteed in every performance space.

  7. All One-Acts will be assigned performance space and time.

  8. All One-Acts will be grouped by category for performances. Be sure to select the correct category when you submit your One Act during your online registration.

  9. All One-Act Marathon plays will receive feedback from at least one respondent (Playwriting and Freestyle) or two Adjudicators (Chapter Select).

  10. All One-Acts receiving an overall SUPERIOR rating will be recognized.

Click below to see the rubrics used by adjudicators:




Also available is the HOW TO guide for Hosts, or those considering hosting.

For more information, please email Lara Okamoto, One-Act Marathon Coordinator, at



High school students can submit original plays for adjudication. All plays are given written feedback. Of those submitted, up to four plays are selected to present at the State Festival. They can be a staged reading to fully staged one-act as part of the One-Act Marathon, in the Playwriting category, unless specifically requested to be considered for Chapter Select.

The deadline for Playwriting submissions is January 15 each year. This is a postmark deadline. Selected Playwrights will be announced at Regionals. Submit two copies of your play, entry fee, and the student playwriting rubric to the Playwriting Coordinators, Annie Kaiser, West Linn HS, and Janet VanWess, Liberty HS.​

  • Please read and adhere strictly to the entry guidelines. If you intend to submit your work to the International Festival, check the EdTA website ( as their guidelines and deadlines do differ.

  • Please mail the student playwriting rubric submission form signed by your Troupe Director, with two copies of your play, and the entry fee to Janet VanWess, Liberty HS, Playwriting Co-Coordinator, by the postmark deadline January 15.



Please adhere to the following:

  • Maximum length is 15 double-sided, typewritten pages, or 30 single-sided, typewritten pages, not including title page and dramatis personae.

  • Use 1” – 1 ½” margins.

  • Use a 12-point, simple font.

  • Use all capitals for character indicators.

  • Italicize all stage directions.

  • Number each page.

  • Proofread for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.​


Plays are Judged based on the following criteria:

  1. Character – Are the characters clearly-defined and/or well-developed? Is there enough contrast between characters to create dramatic tension? Are the characters believable within the world of the play?

  2. Dialogue – Is each character’s dialogue distinctive, helping to reveal and develop that character? Does expository and descriptive dialogue seem natural and consistent to the character? Is all dialogue motivated by objective, thus contributing to the play’s action?

  3. Form – Is the dramatic action a product of character action and interaction? Is there constant dynamic action, moving toward a climax? Is there a satisfactory resolution?

  4. Theatricality – Is the dramatic action clearly designed for stage presentation? Can the play be easily staged? Are the stage directions clear and helpful?


  • The selection committee is made up of playwrights and theatre professionals from around Oregon.

  • Awards will be given to first, second, and third place entries. Certificates of honorable mention may be awarded as well.

  • All plays will receive written critiques.

  • Meritorious plays will be announced at the Regional Acting Competitions when possible. 

  • Playwrights receiving meritorious awards are requested to produce their plays at the State Thespian Festival.

  • Plays may be produced as a full one-act production or as reader’s-theatre-style staged readings. 

  • Final recognition of playwrights occurs during the State Festival.

Contact Playwriting Coordinators Annie Kaiser, West Linn HS, Janet VanWess, Liberty HS, at with questions.

Click here to Download the Playwriting SOP.


State SOP

Below is the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Manual for State Thespian Festival. This document can be printed and added to a hardcopy manual, if desired. Check the date of any hardcopies you have. Below is the most current version.

Also available is the HOW TO HOST Event Guide for Hosts, or those considering hosting.


©2019 by Oregon Thespians.